DGCA today removed A S Soman as Air India flight safety chief following his “failure” to preserve flight monitoring data, highly-placed sources said.
The aviation regulator’s decision to “withdraw” Soman’s approval as the airline’s safety head came about a month after an incident involving the national carrier’s Bangalore- Hyderabad flight in which the pilot first touched down but immediately took off again without stopping, citing bad weather, the sources said.
Soman, however, will continue in the airline, which will decide about his next assignment. He was appointed to the post only in January this year.
As per the regulator’s norms, a scheduled airline has to monitor data for every flight and this should be kept in the records for six months.
Prior to issuing orders for his removal, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation had served a show-cause notice to him after the incident was brought to its notice, the sources said.
The pilot had cited bad weather as the reason for the incident, they said.
The regulator had sought flight monitoring data for the period between May 23 and June 25, 2015 from the airline’s safety head to carry out its investigation into the incident, they said, adding, “however, he failed to provide the data on the ground that the engineering department, which downloads all such records, had not sent the same to the safety department.”
The DGCA could not carry out investigation into the incident due to the non-furnishing of data by the airline, the sources said.
Soman’s response was found “unsatisfactory”, they said.